Most of us like for the world around us to be attractive and pleasing.
Sure, we know that there are some folks who maybe would just be as happy living in a pigsty and seem to create a space around them that reflects that. But the importance of maintaining attractive, clean, junk-free properties is not just about the pretty factor.
Sure, attractive private properties benefit our community’s ability to attract new retail businesses and other industries, but there are also economic, health and quality of life benefits for all of us when our local properties represent us well.
Good landscaping can add up to 28 percent to a property’s value. For homeowners, that can be a pretty significant number. Well-placed trees and plants can add a pleasing look that has a positive effect on a person’s quality of life, too.
Did you know that just gazing at trees for 5 minutes can reduce your stress level according to a study by the University of Texas?
Attractive landscaping and exterior appearance can increase retail sales for businesses, as well. If you are considering selling your property, a pleasing landscape can reduce the time on the market by 10-15 percent.
Here are a couple of other facts that will make you a tree lover. Just three properly placed trees could save you from $100 to $250 a year in energy costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Planting windbreaks and shade trees can reduce winter heating bills by 15 percent and air conditioning needs by 75 percent.
Only God can make a tree, but the National Tree Benefit Calculator can definitely tell you what it is worth for your property. You really should check this out! The calculator examines how a tree species in a particular ZIP code affects:
• Your property values. All homeowners want help with that.
• Storm water runoff. Trees block and suck up water running off your property, preventing pollutants from entering community waterways and slowing erosion.
• Carbon dioxide reduction. You do like to breathe oxygen, don’t you?
• Energy savings. Like we said, shade trees cool homes in summer; windbreaks help warm them in winter. Those energy savings not only increase your comfort level, they can mean cash savings for you, too.
When you plant trees, plants or shrubs, consider going native. Indigenous plantings thrive without the extra TLC (translate that into time, labor and cash) you’ll devote to anything that’s forced to live outside its natural habitat. That can significantly reduce those weekend lawn maintenance “honey do” lists. Less work and more time for fun!
A study by Applied Ecological Services, a Wisconsin ecological consultancy, shows that maintaining an acre of native plants over 20 years costs $3,000, compared with the whopping $20,000 price tag of maintaining a lawn of non-native turf grass. That is a fact that homeowners, business owners and local governments need to consider in strategic planning for green spaces.
We all benefit when we replace grassy areas with low maintenance and drought tolerant native plants and other plants that might not be natives but thrive in our area.
Natives also can help to increase property values. Increasingly rain gardens with native plants and trees also are becoming a plus for a variety of properties.
These gardens filter and distribute runoff underground, preventing storm water from seeping into basements and overwhelming municipal storm drains.
They work as a natural filter that helps reduce the amount of litter and/or debris that can be washed into our local waterways by rain.
We hope you will consider some of these ideas for sprucing up the appearance of your property. If you need help figuring any of this out, give us a call at 912-880-4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.